OPINION: Honours are worthwhile

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The work of community champions is honoured every week in The Star as our district news pages pay tribute to those who serve their areas so well.

So why all the fuss over today’s New Year’s Honours list, which offers the public a chance to nominate people but is judged in private?

Some say the tradition has run its course and has no place in an era where the public picks its stars on reality TV shows like The X Factor.

Other argue the Honours List should be maintained and that an OBE is just reward after being nominated by your peers.

Simply because the Honours List is a hardy annual is not a good enough reason to maintain it.

But the fact that it allows unsung heroes a much-deserved moment in the spotlight is a more persuasive arguement.

The honours system is designed to recognise outstanding contributions at whatever stage in a person’s life.

This means that nominations for young and old will certainly be considered, which is important if the List is to remain relevant.

Today’s honours offer a good mix from all walks of life. A long-serving MP rubs shoulders with a mum-of-four, whose dedicated community work in Canklow, Rotherham has brought its reward.

Then there’s an 83-year-old grandfather who has been a boy scout chief, active church member, parish council stalwart and athletics official, as well as finding time to lead a choir.

James Moore typifies the good work done in our communities and his honour of a British Empire Medal is richly deserved.

Fathir Khan has devoted his life to helping the Asian community in Sheffield after arriving from Bangladesh. He opened a restaurant, worked as a kitchen supervisor and catering tutor and devotes his spare time to helping to improve the lives of members of his community.

It is these feats which are worth recognising and as such the Honours List continues to remain a relevant and worthy method of rewarding people.